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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Reading (01/25/07)

TITLE: Whales Can't Read
By Dave O'Neil


Learning how to communicate with others is surely the foundation of any educational process. Without that first step, the relationship between student and teacher would be futile. The spoken word can provide momentary comfort and understanding, but the lasting effect may lose something in the “memory” translation. I believe the cornerstone of communication is the ability to read. The written word is clearly the most powerful way of getting an idea across to others.

Being in commissioned sales, brochures may illustrate or enhance a product, but getting in front of people and talking to them is the only way to go. There isn’t a more dynamic way to pitch something than a lively exchange, driven by conviction, back and forth, face to face. But there is a certain power, an underlying timelessness, inhabiting a page offering deliberately ordered thoughts, recorded, unchanging, and permanent. When a story is passed from one to another, verbally, by the time it has been told half a dozen times you may not recognize the details. However, there can be no suspicion of rumor or exaggeration when you have an original document to refer to.

Somehow, when geese fly in pattern, they know to take turns rotating out of the lead spot, conserving energy. How they know this is amazing to me, but there must be some type of communication between them. Animals in forest fires seem to be able to warn their comrades while the danger is still quite a distance away. Whales talk to each other, apparently. Who is going to argue with the scientists who claim that one? But I do know this! They do not read. Nor do they share our ability to reason, or have the ability to recognize what Christ has done, and to believe and follow Him.

Can it be a coincidence? We can read printed, unchanging words, use reason to understand, and come to a knowledge of who Jesus Christ is, and what His Father commissioned and enabled Him to do. None of the other inhabitants of Noah’s Ark have the ability to do any of those things. Is that an exhaustive list of all that reading, reason, and recognition of God, have in common? Not quite. Each of these is possible for anyone to claim and take advantage of. Even a non-believer can read, reason, and recognize who Christ was, and the impact He had on this earth. For those of us who belong to Christ, however, these become powerful tools when enhanced by the Holy Spirit. The powerful, enabling Word of God becomes wisdom and strength to us. Human reason is replaced by spiritual revelation. We recognize that the promises pledged by the Father and the Son provide the faith that we cling to, the hope that sustains us, and the love that has been poured into our hearts. All of this that we might be prepared to give an answer for the hope (and faith, and love) that we have. This clearly is the more abundant life, the fellowship that we can experience and enjoy.

The next time you see a flock of geese cutting through the wind with amazing precision, a chimpanzee thoughtfully turning and twisting a Rubik’s Cube, or a hive of bee’s producing honey with the efficiency of a pit crew at Indy, just remember one thing. They can’t read! Can you?

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This article has been read 583 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Julie Arduini02/02/07
I could see this as a devotional, some great lessons expressed. The title is perfect, grabs my attention!
Martha Ford02/03/07
Very thought provoking. Reading doesn't always mean words on a page, does it? Thanks to God we can appreciate, to a human extent, what He has created. Keep writing so we can read it.
Jacquelyn Horne02/03/07
The last paragraph sums it all up as it's supposed to.
Lillian Jacobs02/08/07
This should be developed into a book. Interesting ideas.